Last week, the BBC reported that fewer secondary schools in England are reaching the target set by government on students taking a language GCSE.
Ministers want schools to have “between 50% and 90%” of pupils taking a modern foreign language at GCSE.
But a survey for The National Centre for Languages (Cilt) suggests only 40% of state schools meet this target – and that the trend is downwards.
The numbers haven’t changed much in the last few years there had been dramatic falls since 2002-3. The decision in 2004 to make languages non-compulsory from the age of 14 is quotes as a reason for this.
Cilt’s report on the annual survey said: “There is little sign yet of a recovery in take up for languages in Key Stage 4 which have been in decline since 2002-3.”
Minister hope that introducing children to foreign languages at an earlier age might make it easier for them to take languages on at secondary school.
Another thing that needs to be addressed is how languages are dealt with on the whole, that langauge learning needs to be encouraged and become part of the general culture, like it is in many other European countries. The aim is to establish a society in which everyone recognises the value of languages and intercultural relationships.
Here at Europe Direct Leeds and Leeds Central Library we speak a mix of languages that include French, German, Polish, Spanish and Turkish.
Some of us are also learning new languages this year and others are thinking about learning a new language or even just a few holiday-relted words. If you are interested in more information on languages and language learning have a look at the following links:
(Quotes from BBC article are in Italics)